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brett kavanaugh open thread rape culture sexual assault trump

The Brett Kavanaugh Shitshow: Open Thread

This fucking guy

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UPDATE: This hearing so so fucking hard to watch. But it’s a disaster for the GOP. Ford is utterly convincing and so, so brave.

By David Futrelle

We’re just hours away from what promises to be one of the most surreal and infuriating Senate hearings ever. News keeps breaking. I’m yelling at my television.

So I’m opening up a thread for everyone who wants to talk about this, to vent, to share breaking news and personal stories. No trolls. (If anyone starts posting trolly or other otherwise problematic shit, email and I will ban them.)

Here are some relevant tweets I’ve run across today:

https://twitter.com/AaronBlake/status/1044964634564988929

https://twitter.com/AdamWeinstein/status/1045091328063934469

https://twitter.com/eschor/status/1045096168370393090

I will probably be updating this post with new stuff as events develop.

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Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

I suspect one or more of his friends were the actual culprits and he witnessed it and said nothing(which still makes him look bad imo). then over time, Ford forgotten most of the details and mistakenly thought it was him or something.

Do you have any reason to suspect that some individual other than Kavanaugh committed the offense, or are you just indulging your knee-jerk urge to disbelieve the veracity of anything accusation a woman makes? Do you have any evidence that Ford’s memory is faulty, aside from her being a woman?

kat
kat
1 year ago

@catalpa well someone investiagted(i forgot to bookmark the source where i got this info from) into his background and found out he had hung around a bad crowd during his high school/college years and that some of his friends had been known to rape(or even gang rape at times) women. and considering the ambiguity of his body language/reactions(which hints at both guilt and innocence) towards the accusations, i’m thinking what happened, is that while he may have not attempted to rape her technically, he witnessed one or more of his friends do it , and perhaps- he thought it was funny or some bullshit like that at the time. and he knows if he explains/tells the truth, it’ll still indicate that he’s a shitty person that cares more about himself than justice/doing what’s right, and in a sense it makes him an accomplice- which makes him unfit to be a part of supreme court.

I think ford just made an honest mistake blaming him specifically for attempted rape (probably cause he was also in the room as well along with her and the rapist) specifically due to the event taking place a long time ago and the alcohol(especially if the drink was spiked) somewhat blurring her memories(but not completely) in combination. memories are a weird thing. sometimes over a long period of time, you can have two people who eyewitness the same event and initially report it the same, but over a long period of time- you ask them to recall the event the best they could and they’ll recall it somewhat differently and their accounts may conflict in some regards.

on another note: i think feinstein and her cohorts approached trying to prevent kavanaugh’s nominations all wrong, it’s sad that Ford might end up getting “crucified” /scapegoated as a result of their desperate attempt to get him to not be nominated to supreme court. if they took a little more time, they could’ve gotten him on something solid to prevent him being a supreme court(i.e. prooven times he lied under oath unrelated to rape accusations). heck they could’ve even used that fact he had male friends who were well known for being rapist types against him (and if he were attempt to deny it under oath, that’ll can be used against him afterwards along with solid evidence his friends being rapists and of him tolerating it) since they could effectively argue that he shouldn’t be allowed to serve on supreme court(well i defintely wouldn’t want a rape apologist and someone who has no problem seeing his friends sexually assault/rape women and even possibly laughing about it).

sorry if what i wrote is confusing. it’s just based on the research i’ve done in the past few days(it’s kinda a long story why i decided to research this drama after avoiding political news for a while in order to not elevate stress levels after cheetoh head dumptruck got elected) plus seeing a clip of of his reaction to ford’s accusation, gave me some complicated vibes. i got the vibe that he was uncertain if he was guilty or innocent and wasn’t sure how to approach it or what to say. He came accross as having mixed emotions and being put in a tight corner imo.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@kat

I’ll bite. I see one tiny little flaw at the start of your argument:

he had hung around a bad crowd during his high school/college years and that some of his friends had been known to rape(or even gang rape at times) women.

So how exactly was he just “hanging around” with this “bad crowd,” and yet not part of this bad crowd? How on earth does this make it less likely that Dr. Ford’s telling the truth? Why this desperate need to square the circle?

An old friend of mine called Occam suggests that a simpler explanation is that Kavanaugh was a part of the crowd, acted like the crowd, and lied his pants off about it.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Kavanaugh acting unsure if he’s guilty or innocent might have a little something to do with the now very well verified fact that he was a heavy binge drinker and might not fully remember the assault or remember it at all. Why come to the conclusion that it’s Dr Ford misremembering when she’s 100% confident, doesn’t have the same history of blackout drinking and unlike Kavanaugh directly answered every question in that hearing. Plus, Kavanaugh was an acquaintance, not a stranger. It’s stranger rapes in which iding the wrong person is an issue.

There’s just nothing about the misindetification hypothesis that stands up to any kind of scrutiny.

How many women’s testimonies does it take here to equal the testimony of one men?

Scildfreja Unnyðnes
Scildfreja Unnyðnes
1 year ago

@kat, ya touched the fuckin’ button there, didn’t you?

comment image

I apologize in advance.

The problem with “doing your own research” in the modern day and age is that you end up relying on internet news sources, and there are sources out there to comfortably fit any desired perspective.

When a flat-earther is trying to convince someone of their belief, they’ll say “do your homework.” Misogynists who come here, when confronted with statistics and studies, will refute them by saying they’ve “done their research.” For every belief there’s a body of evidence on the internet, specifically crafted to look appealing to the casual reader.

Everyone has “done their own research.” That doesn’t do anything but reinforce your existing perspectives, perhaps with a tweak here and there depending on what source you’ve landed on agreeing with. Doing your own research for real is hard. Dearest Rabbit above gives one of the more basic hints on how to proceed, the principle of parsimony. It’s not my favourite, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

There is no good reason to believe he didn’t do it. There’s especially no reason to believe his innocence when the alternative is “it was done by someone no one can remember being there or identify.”

Memory-encoding organelles of the hippocampus operate with the use of epinephrine and norepinephrine – adrenaline if you prefer. When in a dangerous situation, they encode perceptions specific to trauma or danger and shed memories that are superfluous. Her memory about the critical points of the event should absolutely be trusted.

(You’d know that if you had listened to her testimony, because she said that when the Republicans asked her specifically about whether her memory might be flawed. And she’s a doctor in psychology, she knows her neurology of memory.)

The only ones who wouldn’t want to trust her are those who are interested in throwing her position into doubt. Which is why the Republicans and conservative media have made those arguments – they want their boy in the supreme court, after all, and who cares about any woman who might have been hurt. This makes me really doubt the sources of your research.

And, as for throwing shade on the Democrats for doing it wrong? I have a dozen expletives for you here that I’m leaving on this side of the keyboard for the sake of civility. Don’t blame women for coming forward “wrong”. Don’t blame the people fighting to elevate their voices for doing it “wrong”.

Humans are flawed, fumbling creatures trying to navigate an impossibly complex society. We all screw it up, and those of us struggling to do so under the burden of trauma or under the obligation of helping the traumatized don’t need comments about how it could’ve been done better.

Diane Feinstein labours under abuse, unfair critique, and a right wing smear job that’s gone on since she’s been a public figure, and she’s done all that on top of the work of her office, and supporting Dr Ford in coming forward, and just trying to live her damn life. Just like Kamela Harris. Just like Hillary Clinton. Just like every other woman who dares to assume public visibility. And I ain’t even touched on the anti-semitism she regularly faces. Anyone who sits on the sidelines and says “she coulda done that better” needs to have a big ole’ swig’a shut-up-juice ’cause that woman works harder than a freight train and the sass doesn’t do anything but make you look bad.

The specific – you think that if Feinstein “worked harder” she might have gotten something else to stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation? Ford’s testimony dropped anvils on Kavanaugh’s credibility and it only bought a week. The dude lied, blank-faced, on national television, and equivocated for hours with a tone more petulant and surly and evasive than any successful defendant, much less a judge, and they would have confirmed him right there if it weren’t for those protesters catching Jeff Flake in the elevator. You think Feinstein would’ve found something that could push through that?

Ngh. I award your opinion zero points. Maybe you should find some different sources for your research, and maybe keep track of where you get them this time. Might help your credibility.

Mea culpa.

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

i got the vibe that he was uncertain if he was guilty or innocent and wasn’t sure how to approach it or what to say.

“Hmm, there is an emotionally unstable man who appears to be unsure if he is guilty or not and there is a woman who is confident in her accusation and eloquent in her statement… I bet it’s the woman who is lying about this whole thing! Not on purpose, of course! It’s just that silly ladybrains just get so confused sometimes! Poor little thing.”

Out of curiosity, is there anything that Ford could have done to convince you that she was telling the truth? Or is a woman’s testimony always in question unless the accused man immediately falls to his knees and screams out a confession on live television?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

There’s also the recent revelation that he was contacting friends, trying to get them to refute the Debbie Ramirez allegations before they became public. This despite the fact that he testified last week that he never heard of them until the Jane Mayer/Ronan Farrow piece came out.

kat
kat
1 year ago

Out of curiosity, is there anything that Ford could have done to convince you that she was telling the truth? Or is a woman’s testimony always in question unless the accused man immediately falls to his knees and screams out a confession on live television?

Ford’s testimony had some inconsistancies(just like kavanaugh’s did) which is the main reason why i think she made an honest mistake- which is not the same as a lie.

There’s also the recent revelation that he was contacting friends, trying to get them to refute the Debbie Ramirez allegations before they became public. This despite the fact that he testified last week that he never heard of them until the Jane Mayer/Ronan Farrow piece came out.

note: i’m not really addressing the other two accusations here since they are less politically important and not sure what to make of those(i had a harder time find reliable info. on them compared to ford.)

So how exactly was he just “hanging around” with this “bad crowd,” and yet not part of this bad crowd? How on earth does this make it less likely that Dr. Ford’s telling the truth? Why this desperate need to square the circle?

hanging around a bad crowd makes someone part of a bad crowd generally speaking. i just have a tendency to word things awkwardly without even realizing it until later.

what i was trying to say, while it’s uncertain that he ever committed any rapes, he had friends who did so on a regular basis and he’d often witness it while drunk on a regular basis. Which still makes him a bad person(and i hope he doesn’t get nominated with that being one of the reasons) since he did nothing about it and at least tolerated it. He just remembers that his friends did shit like this on a regular basis, and him being the asshole he was(and still is) wasn’t bothered by it- and figured ford was one of the many women they preyed on- but didn’t remember a lot of details due to a combination of not being bothered by what they were doing and due to being practically ‘blackout’ drunk(which means he has more memory problems than Ford). him not remembering the faces of the women makes it easier for him to pretend he did nothing wrong and to deny any guilt.

well if kavanaugh had a friend who looked somewhat similar to him, i can see misindentification happening even though he was an acquantance to ford.

How many women’s testimonies does it take here to equal the testimony of one men?

you are missing the point, i never said multiple women’s testimonies equal one man’s- plus i’m pretty sure i implied that kavanaugh was not being truthful when i mentioned his body language suggesting both guilt and innocent at the same time. because if someone gives off that vibe while claiming to be innocent, they are not being entirely truthful- which makes their testimony unreliable. telling pieces/parts of the truth and hiding others, is in a sense- a lie/half truth. His testimony isn’t more valid or of higher value than hers especially since he’s accusing her, and those supporting her of assassinating his character and claims he was a ‘good boy’ that did nothing worse than occasional drinking and that he was a virgin until his mid 20’s. the fact many former classmates mentioned he had a drinking problem (including those who disagreed with ford’s testimony) alone makes his testimony not so reliable either.

it’s just that I suspect that instead of technically commiting the crime, he was an accomplice(in the same way a parent who doesn’t even try to stop their serial killer son/daughter from killing someone in front of them and instead chooses to help cover for them instead.) to the crime by standing around/watching his friends do that shit. you could say it’s a middle ground between the conflicting narratives thrown around about this.

Diane Feinstein labours under abuse, unfair critique, and a right wing smear job that’s gone on since she’s been a public figure, and she’s done all that on top of the work of her office, and supporting Dr Ford in coming forward, and just trying to live her damn life.

It’s just that since the incident happened so long ago and ford couldn’t remember every detail and as a result, it would almost impossible to proove his guilt in court, which basically sets ford up for failure. as a result, right wing types would jump the gun and assume that ford is a manipulative liar trying to ruin a ‘good man’ (which we know kavanaugh isn’t)’s life and start ‘crucifying’ her at the very least and would probably give her hell. Dr. Ford doesn’t deserve that at all. Feinstein along with others shouldn’t have put Dr. Ford in that position with that much risk involved, especially since there’s a possibility of a nutjob assassinating her as a result. Considering what a liar kavanaugh is, there were plenty of things they could’ve gotten him on without putting anyone at risk.

This will be the last comment i’ll make on this for a while or possibly at all. since some of y’all act like thinking someone made an honest mistake due to having an imperfect memory of an event is the same as calling someone a big fat liar. plus i thought i made it clear that I’m not in favor of trump nominating Kavanaugh. I just felt that the truth was more complicated than the media on both republican and democrats sides portrayed this incident to be.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Go back and read Scild’s post. Fuzziness on a few details is normal. She is not fuzzy on it being Kavanaugh and Judge in the room.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

I know it can be dangerous to generalise; people can react in different ways.

However there’s an axiom in criminal justice that, upon being accused of something, innocent people get confused and guilty people get angry.

That very much leapt to mind when watching Kavanaugh’s performance (and I mean that word in every sense).

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I think it would be more suspicious if she had an extremely detailed story with nothing fuzzy at all. I know with my old memories – whether they’re traumatic, nice or mundane – a few things stand out clearly but other less important thins, not so much. Like, I remember what I was wearing on 9-11. I remember my friend’s And professor’s reactions. I remember watching the news footage. I remember my housemate waiting for his parents to call as they were in the Pentagon. All those things feel like they happened yesterday. On the other hand. I don’t remember what I ate that day. I don’t remember what time I went to bed. I don’t even know for sure which classes I was taking at the time. I couldn’t clearly recall any of these details to save my life.

If there was no uncertainty about detail, it would seem rehearsed and strange.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@kat:

I think the question everyone has is “why needlessly complicate the argument?”

You seem to be saying “I think he’s guilty of everything *but* the actual rape, and I think she’s telling the truth about everything *except* she’s misidentified her attacker,” and… why suggest that if you’re not trying to defend him, especially when his version, not hers, is the one with major inconsistencies?

It’s like hearing all the facts in a murder case and saying “ah, but what if, at the very moment the accused fired the gun at the victim, some unknown third party secretly shot a gun over his shoulder and *their* bullet was the fatal one? Then he’d only be guilty of attempted murder, and the witnesses who saw him shoot and thought he was the murderer would be wrong,” when there’s no evidence for another person with motive to shoot the same victim was there at the same time.

(I acknowledge that there are fictional murder mysteries that turn on this very concept, but they also turn on the protagonist finding evidence that the mysterious third person existed at all.)

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Alan

I’d forgotten that adage, thanks for reminding me of it. Definitely seems relevant.

Meanwhile, in other news about over-privileged white boys, the NYT has just provided all the additional evidence needed that Trumplethinskin only ever managed to be a successful conman thanks to Daddy: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-tax-schemes-fred-trump.html

(TL;DR version here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/02/us/politics/donald-trump-wealth-fred-trump.html)

Shadowplay
1 year ago

@Alan

However there’s an axiom in criminal justice that, upon being accused of something, innocent people get confused and guilty people get angry.

Had occasion to ask a few questions of not terribly nice people once in a while. One of the guys as trained me up said “The innocent will attack the charge. The guilty will attack the evidence.” Similar thing.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ rabid rabbit

adage

That’s the word I meant! What is an axiom anyway?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
1 year ago

@ shadowplay

Yeah. As I tell clients, “I didn’t do it” would have sounded much better than “You can’t prove it”.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@alan

An incontrovertible connection, I think. As in “It is axiomatic that Trump supporters are assholes.”

Catalpa
Catalpa
1 year ago

@kat

Ford’s testimony had some inconsistancies(just like kavanaugh’s did) which is the main reason why i think she made an honest mistake

Which inconsistencies, specifically? And if the inconsistencies are the reason why you believe that Ford was mistaken, why did you reply to my initial inquiry with:

“Hey, Kavanaugh hung out with a bunch of known rapists and that definitely doesn’t indicate that he’s a bird of a feather, flocking together, nope! Since he hung out with so many rapists, Ford’s attacker could have been any one of them! In fact, it’s much more likely that it’s one of those other dudes than the person who Ford specifically remembers attacking her.”

That doesn’t sound anything like “Ford’s testimony has the following inconsistencies and this is why I do not believe her”

Oh, wait, you’re bowing out of the argument before you have to specifically list the inconsistencies that lead you to believe she was mistaken. I suppose I’ll just have to take your word for it that those inconsistencies are definitely there and definitely indicate that Ford is mistaken. I’m totally inclined to do that!

which is not the same as a lie.

Okay, fine. Here, let me revise my previous statement.

““Hmm, there is an emotionally unstable man who appears to be unsure if he is guilty or not and there is a woman who is confident in her accusation and eloquent in her statement… I bet it’s the woman who is telling a falsehood about this whole thing! Not on purpose, of course! It’s just that silly ladybrains just get so confused sometimes! Poor little thing.”

Wow, that sounds so much better, I totally don’t have a problem with that statement at all anymore.

you could say it’s a middle ground between the conflicting narratives thrown around about this.

Hey, are you familiar with the Golden Mean fallacy? Just because there are two people or groups who disagree strongly, that doesn’t mean that the right answer has got to be somewhere in the middle! Sometimes one group can actually be right, instead of them both being wrong! Sometimes we don’t need to go “yeah, sexual assault is terrible and that guy is a creep but ALSO that woman is totally blowing things out of proportion and is mistaken about the whole thing!”, we can just say the first part of that sentence!

Feinstein along with others shouldn’t have put Dr. Ford in that position with that much risk involved,

Hey, awesome! Blaming one woman and removing the agency from the other woman! That’s totally something that will fly around these parts.

Dr. Ford is an adult woman and she courageously decided to step forward to address a wrong that was done to her and to try to prevent a predator from gaining power over 15 milion women’s bodies. Maybe don’t imply that women should be protected from themselves by being prevented from testifying about their assaults? That would be nice!

especially since there’s a possibility of a nutjob assassinating her as a result

And maybe abide by the comments policy about not using “crazy talk” while you’re at it too!

i thought i made it clear that I’m not in favor of trump nominating Kavanaugh

Guess what, you can still spout off incredibly harmful talking points while maintaining that Kavanaugh is an asshole and shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court. But, okay, since you have demonstrated an absolute bare minimum of moral outrage about this shitstain, you can have a cookie.comment image